‘How do I become a Volva / Vitki?’
This question is generally followed with: ‘I had a dream / I was called / my spirit-guide told me ..’
Explanations I find interesting in that, if one was given such information, then the how-to should also stem from that source. Yet, time and again, those who are ‘called’, seek the advice of strangers.
Seidr has become the ‘new’ Wicca. It’s the in-thing. Stemmed, no doubt, in part, to the popular rise of television shows and the thrust of White Identity in the media. I like that one’s ethnicity is rising into individual awareness, yet what remains unsaid is that said-identity is rooted in a European consciousness.
Americans today, for example, are fairly ashamed and guilty of being ‘white’ (‘white shame’, ‘appropriation’, ‘reparations’), and perhaps this push is what is pressing the need for identity to breach onto society’s lap. Whatever the reason, it has no root. Those that yell the most in this case are Americans, who are far-removed from their European heritage, traditions, and subsequently culture.
I cannot begin to relate the number of ‘volvas / vitkis’ who lack even the most basic terms that define Heathenry today. From alu to godhi, from vaettir to seidhr, from horgr to troth, from berserkr to disir, from thew to kenning, from valknut to sumbel – its not enough to know a definition, one must have a working knowledge. For example, I know what a carborator is, and am able to explain its function, but do not have a working knowledge of its function, let alone how it has been mostly replaced by fuel injection. Simply: I see these words tossed about mostly out-of-context, or worse, new definitions and applications randomly assigned (and in this latter, mostly Christianized).
So how does one wake-up one morning and decide ‘I want to be a volva / vitki’? In my experience there are generally two types:
–Those who are seeking an innate expression, and
-Those who are suffering and seeking help.
Seidr is not about ‘answering a call’ or even ‘helping others’, but an inherent desire to not just change but BECOME what one already is. What Seidr is NOT is a craving to be recognized, to be heard, to be understood, to be accepted; all of which are indications that one has been ignored or otherwise psychologically damaged, that there exists an individual sense of isolation and neglect that can only be healed by seeking the company of healers, and so ensuring that ones inner pain may be addressed.
The patient does not a doctor make.
Internet pages that focus on healing is where one will find the most patients; and these patients are clearly identified by their responses to posts. Namely, those that are inappropriate, rude, exaggerated, provocative and/or promiscuious, hysterical, dramatic, trivializing, malicious, and generally maladaptive to the topic at hand. Mostly, these individuals are seeking love, validation, and acceptance to alleviate their depression and despair.
Someone who has tapped into Seidr – for even the briefest moments – seeks to return there. Their continued efforts todoso build emotional maturity, which, in turn, supplies all the validation they require for self-confidence. Where the would-be Seid-person has emotional outbursts, or plays the victim, or becomes that ‘indispensable friend’, or who is always ill and/or recovering, truth is, they are seeking the skills of a mature Seidhu so they may be healed. And once healed, or on the road to recovery, nary walk this path again.
The richest and fullest lives seek to achieve and maintain the calm between Three Realms. To ignore one or two is the cause of loss and sadness, whereas being diligent in the pursuit of all Three is the achievement of frith.
So what are the first-steps of Seidr?
First, OutSit upon rising, when the mind is still and gently transitioning from sleep to wake. Don’t roll over and cover your head, but sit up, propped-up with pillows, listen to Nature .. Breathe. Then stretch in quiet. Be calm and at ease.
Second, notice what fetters you .. what creates stress. In a stressful situation do you feel overwhelmed, do you over or under eat, do you try to alleviate the stress or try to avoid it through a distraction?
Third, cultivate a frithful practice. Garden, do Yoga, Read, Knit, or some other that brings calm into your life.
Fourth, realize its not personal. Too often, many take-on the mantle of pain, in any number of ways. Know that each has their own burden so may be acting out. Its not you alone.
Fifth, be filled with wunjo. Find joy and gratitude in ALL things. Even the polluted puddle contains a reminder of Bifrost.
Sixth, stay focused. Do not cast your net where you have not observed what hides there. Doing too many things at once is taxing, plus it assures that every project is lessened by not receiving your full attention.
Seven, be quiet, be still, minimize noise, reduce clutter, get rid of stuff.
Seidr involves disposing of the society-self, of being free of the sense-world, of transcending the mundane to consciously contact the supra-sensible. You see, that one who deals daily with conventional structures – either dreading or relishing – will never Know Seidr, let alone survive its intensity. You see, instead of seeing the everyday world, the Seidhu sees the Mystical World, they see the overlaps and can discern the difference while functioning efficiently in both. For the Seidhu, Earth is a reflection of their soulscape, which is why they need no tribe, for all the world is them and they are it.
“There are moments of sentimental and mystical experience
that carry an enormous sense of inner authority and illumination
with them when they come. But they come seldom, and they do
not come to everyone; and the rest of life makes either no connection
with them, or tends to contradict them more than it confirms them.
Some persons follow more the voice of the moment in these cases,
some prefer to be guided by the average results. Hence the sad
discordancy of so many of the spiritual judgments of human beings.”
–William James, ‘Varieties of Religious Experience’, page 51
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